The first batch of homes in Islington have been equipped with solar panels, funded by green grants from Islington Council. Families who applied to the council’s £3 million Climate Change Fund are now powering their properties with renewable energy. Solar panels have begun to appear around the London Borough and more will soon be joining them - and householders are being urged to come forward to take advantage of the grants. One person to benefit is mum-of-two Joana Teague, an education worker, whose house has been fitted with panels which generate electricity and heat water. She said: “Instead of complaining about increasing fuel costs, we decided to do something practical about it. Of course, it costs money to start with. But our solar panels will hopefully add value to the house -- and we reckon the pay-back period has already potentially gone down from 20 to 12 years, because of further predicted price rises.”
PICTURE: Alan Sutton and Joanna Teague celebrate installation of their solar
panels with a sun-powered cup of tea
Islington Borough Council 24th June 2008
week ending 27 June 2008
Microgeneration for Home
A list of technologies for home generation with the pros and cons.
Guardian 27th June 2008 more >>
The university town of Marburg is where the Brothers Grimm collected many of their fairy tales, and the cobbled streets and medieval buildings look like they could have come straight out of one of their illustrated children’s books. Now, following the approval of a new law, the quaint red-tiled roofs may soon have to be adorned with solar panels and the usually genteel residents are up in arms.
Independent 27th June 2008 more >>
WIND turbines could soon be seen in the grounds of three Wrexham schools if a planning application gets the green light.
Wrexham Leader 26th June 2008 more >>
Renewable Strategy Consultation
Proposals include: Introducing a new financial incentive mechanism to encourage a very large increase in renewable heat, including in homes and other buildings; Extending more effective financial support for heat and electricity microgeneration technologies in homes and other buildings, potentially through a feed-in tariff; Responses to the Renewable Energy Strategy consultation are invited by 26 September 2008. A final strategy is expected to be in place by spring 2009.
BERR Documents 26th June 2008 more >>
BERR Press Release 26th June 2008 more >>
Homeowners could be forced to improve the energy efficiency of their homes under new Government proposals. The plans will affect anyone renovating their home in a bid to meet the EU target of obtaining 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Ananova 26th June 2008 more >>
Micropower Council Reaction
The Micropower Council gave a mixed response to the government’s Renewable Energy Strategy. Government has recognised the importance of microgeneration in helping to meet the country’s carbon and renewables targets. It has accepted the importance of tackling home heating sustainably and that there is a case for new financial incentives for consumers wanting to produce their own heat or electricity sustainably. Despite this, and contrary to recommendations from recent independent research, the Government has rejected “at this stage” the setting of microgeneration targets - a key measure that would give confidence to industry investors of where microgeneration fits into energy policy. In justifying its decision to delay setting targets, the government has selectively cited and as a result, misrepresented the true findings of the research on the effect statutory targets supported by policy measures would have.
Micropower Council 26th June 2008 more >>
Under the plans, the Renewables Obligation would be extended and the level raised to encourage 30-35% of electricity to come from renewable sources - mostly offshore and onshore wind - by 2020. Ministers are also planning more effective support for microgeneration - which could include introducing feed-in tariffs - and strict sustainability criteria for all biofuels.
Edie 26th June 2008 more >>
The strategy also outlines plans for a huge overhaul of the financial incentives offered to households and businesses that install onsite renewable energy technologies, including the possible introduction of a feed-in tariff that would guarantee them an above market price for any power they sell back to the grid. Similarly, it details plans for a new incentive scheme to encourage a significant increase in the use of renewable heat systems for both homes and other buildings.
Business Green 26th June 2008 more >>
Cheat Sheet: The Strategy includes: the installation of seven million solar panels; a 90 per cent increase in the use of ground source heat pumps.
Business Green 26th June 2008 more >>
The proposals include the potential for new incentives for businesses and households to install microgeneration technologies; at least a 15-fold increase in offshore wind power generation; and a greater role for biomass energy from trees and crops.
South West Regional Development Agency 26th June 2008 more >>
Eco-towns not good enough
A series of proposed environmentally-friendly towns could become the “eco-slums” of the future without more involvement from councils in their development, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
Liverpool Daily Post 26th June 2008 more >>
Environmental groups have called for a major redesign of England’s proposed “eco-towns”.
BBC 25th June 2008 more >>
Councils are over-estimating the carbon savings gained by installing ground, air and water source heat pump technology, experts have warned. Local authorities which require a Merton-style minimum percentage of renewable energy generation on new builds are being misled by the industry because heat pumps consume lot of National Grid electricity in cold weather.
Building 25th June 2008 more >>
Fakenham High School and College is to be allowed to put up a 15-metre high wind turbine in its grounds despite strong concerns from residents of adjoining properties. North Norfolk planners approved the scheme subject to environmental health officials being happy that noise levels were acceptable.
Fakenham & Wells Times 25th June 2008 more >>
People Power Revolution
The microgeneration industry has called on the government to use “ambitious” financial incentives to encourage up to three million people to get involved in small-scale energy generation by 2020. Ahead of tomorrow’s publication of the draft Renewable Energy strategy, the Micropower Council said as many as nine million consumers in the UK could produce their own heat and power by 2020, although a target of two to three million would be “realistic and achievable” by that time.
New Energy Focus 25th June 2008 more >>
Veteran Labour environmentalist Michael Meacher believes that the anticipated rise in domestic fuel prices will accelerate the switch to renewables. “It will quite soon be economic to install ground heat pumps – pipes drilled 10 to 15 feet into the ground that will produce enough heat from that depth to heat your house with underfloor heating,” he says. “Or air heat pumps which extract heat from the air using a device that operates like a fridge in reverse and which will heat your house and all your hot water.” People on average and higher than average income may find that economic now, Meacher believes; he is in the process of installing air-heat pumps in his own home. “But not the poor, unless there are subsidies, which the Government has so far failed to deliver”.
Independent 25th June 2008 more >>
The first batch of homes in the borough have been equipped with solar panels, funded by green grants from Islington Council. Families who applied to the council’s £3million Climate Change Fund are now powering their properties with renewable energy.
Islington Borough Council 24th June 2008 more >>
FOUR new model homes are to show what environmentally friendly properties could look like across Scotland. The houses could include energy efficiency, solar panels, hi-tech internet gadgets, and also copy ideas used in England, such as wind turbines, rainwater harvesting, heat recovery systems and recycled waste timber within individual properties.
Glasgow Evening Times 24th June 2008 more >>
WORK got underway yesterday on Wales’ first power plant which generates energy from cow dung. Milk producer Richard Tomlinson finally received planning approval last week to build an anaerobic digester at Lodge Farm, Holt, near Wrexham. The technology, costing more than £0.5m, will convert manure and other waste into bio-gas, which can be used to generate heat and electricity.
Daily Post 24th June 2008 more >>
Three Rivers Eco-Village
Three Rivers Housing Association had been successful in its submission to work with Groundworks Trust on a futuristic Zero Carbon Scheme in the region. The proposed scheme – a community/eco village – will provide residents with enjoyable and healthy homes within a sustainable community setting. The proposed development will be a mix of two-bedroom apartments and three-bedroom townhouses and each home will include state-of-the-art technology not yet available on the market. The eco friendly homes will be constructed to the highest level of the Code for Sustainable Homes, using modern methods of construction.
Green Builder 24th June 2008 more >>
NEW Timperley ward councillor Jane Brophy hopes to set a green example to constituents with her eco-friendly house. The Liberal Democrat councillor, who was elected in May, lives on Meadowbank, Timperley, in a house that boasts a wood-burning stove, solar panels and even a wind turbine on the roof.
Manchester Metro 24th June 2008 more >>
Scottish Government Progress
FORMER environment minister Sarah Boyack today accused the SNP of failing the climate change challenge. She claimed the Scottish Government had failed to deliver on promises to cut red tape for households who want to install their own solar panels and wind power. And she said far from installing renewable energy in every school, the Scottish Government had removed them from the new schools programme in Edinburgh. Ms Boyack, who was speaking at a conference in the city, said government proposals to remove the need for planning permission for wind turbines and heat pumps would make little difference in urban areas.
Edinburgh Evening News 24th June 2008 more >>
The first of a new generation of sustainable superstores is taking shape at Shannon Corner, New Malden, as DIY chain B&Q looks to open its flagship eco-store early next year. The green-themed building will be the company’s most sustainable store to date, with close to half the CO2 emissions of other buildings of the same size and use. Dominating the surrounding skyline will be the store’s wind turbine tower, which will be used alongside solar panels and ground-source heating and cooling to generate electricity and control the temperature of the building.
Surrey Comet 24th June 2008 more >>
SCOTLAND’S biggest solar panel system has been completed, promising to slash hundreds of thousand of pounds from the cost of running Europe’s busiest court.The roof of Glasgow Sheriff Court has been transformed by the installation of hundreds of 3ft by 2ft solar panels, which will provide up to a fifth of the massive building’s energy demands.
Scotsman 24th June 2008 more >>
Another school in Keynsham is leading the way on renewable energy after having solar panels installed. Wellsway School has been fitted with 24 rooftop panels as part of the Co-operative Group’s green energy for schools scheme.
Bath Chronicle 24th June 2008 more >>
Green Builders Merchant
Building products manufacturer, Wolseley’s new building in Leamington Spa cost £3.2m to build and includes, roof-top photo-voltaic cells and underground storage for rainwater harvesting. The building itself features 170 different types of products, all available from the company.
Green Builder 23rd June 2008 more >>
Altrincham’s multi million pound, state of the art Navigation Primary School (pictured) has had further success, securing two high profile construction awards. The school boasts a passive ventilation system which detects and removes rising carbon dioxide levels. It also has solar panels, a wind turbine and the facility to collect rainwater and reuse it to flush the toilets. Pupils and staff also regularly monitor overall energy consumption on a large plasma screen.
Trafford Council 23rd June 2008 more >>
A new report has placed further pressure on the Government to introduce feed-in tariffs for renewable energy. The cross party Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee chaired by Phil Willis MP said more needed to be done to encourage the take-up of renewable technologies. The report said: “Currently, developers of renewable electricity generation projects have to negotiate a crowded funding landscape, a protracted and often costly planning system, and a poorly conceived regime for accessing the UK electricity transmission system.
H&V News 23rd June 2008 more >>
Green Open House Week-end
Eco Open Houses, a new initiiative for Brighton and Hove, will this week be opened by The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn. This will be the first time that the greenest homes in Brighton and Hove have been showcased. Eco Open Houses is a joint project between Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton Permaculture Trust and the Low Carbon Trust and is supported by the South East England Regional Assembly and Legal and General.
Green Builder 23rd June 2008 more >>
BOOTLE-BASED Eco Environments has become only the second company in the North West, and one of only a handful in the country, to achieve MCS (Microgeneration Certification Scheme) accreditation for both solar PV and wind turbine installations. This enables Eco Environments to access the full range of grants, loans and support for their commercial and domestic customers.
Liverpool Daily Post 23rd June 2008 more >>
Liverpool Echo 24th June 2008 more >>
Ashford in Kent has had its ‘core strategy’ declared ‘sound’ after a lengthy examination. The process started in June 2007 and was reconvened on two occasions. The strategy includes plans for doubling the size of the town by 2031 as well as a challenging sustainable energy policy seeking Sustainable Code Level 4 on new development. The council has followed Merton’s lead and intends to implement a 20% on-site renewable energy rule for new development, and carbon off-setting as part of the allegedly green package.
Green Builder 23rd June 2008 more >>
Gleeds, the international management and construction consultancy, has just completed work on a new £11.3m creative arts centre at the University of Huddersfield. The project has been designed to meet a “very good” BREEAM. It features several renewable energy packages, including micro wind power turbines and also acoustic treatments to the music block, including the specialist music research cube.
Nottingham Evening Post 23rd June 2008 more >>
Zero Carbon House for Bath
Businessman Andrew Mercer is about to begin work on what is being billed as the country’s first zero-carbon home. So confident is he that the four-storey glass structure will fulfil its promise, he has signed a binding agreement with Bath and North East Somerset Council to demolish the property if it is not off-grid within 12 months. Mr Mercer and his wife Annette hope their radical home, designed by eco-architect Bill Dunster, will become a national prototype for zero-carbon construction.
Bath Chronicle 23rd June 2008 more >>
York School Award
ECOLOGICALLY-minded youngsters at a York school who are championing climate change issues are in line for a top award. Archbishop of York Junior School, in Bishopthorpe, scooped a £10,000 cash prize provided by Norwich Union to pay for a renewable energy installation.
York Press 23rd June 2008 more >>
A £14m ‘green’ commercial scheme in Bootle has been completed. Vesty Business Park, on Bridle Road, is a 155,000 sq ft industrial development which incorporates 46 roof-mounted wind turbines, as well as a 26m free-standing turbine. Together these will provide 10 per cent of the development’s entire energy supply. It is hoped the development, which is expected to kick-start the commercial regeneration of the area, will create up to 360 new jobs.
Bootle Times 23rd June 2008 more >>
Fifteen sustainable communities have been proposed across Britain. The Eco-Towns Challenge Panel report says the sustainable aspects of the Imerys China Clay Community scheme “need further work”.
BBC 23rd June 2008 more >>
Solar panels will soon grace the roofs of the quiet medieval town of Marburg under a controversial new law forcing owners of all new or renovated buildings in its limits to include solar panels, setting a national precedent.
Guardian 23rd June 2008 more >>
Battersea Power Station
Irish property company, Treasury Holdings has unveiled a masterplan for Battersea Power Station in London, which will provide eight million square feet of residential, office and retail space. Alongside the existing power station there will be a new landmark - a high quality building designed by architect Rafael Vi oly - which will be the ‘cleanest and greenest building in London through innovative use of natural ventilation’.
Enviro-Solutions 22nd June 2008 more >>
A set of giant wind turbines is set to be installed at East MIdlands Airport by the end of the year, it was revealed today. Bosses at the airport, near Castle Donington, hope to start building four, 135ft-high turbines by November.
Leicester Mercury 21st June 2008 more >>
Renewable Energy Strategy
One in four UK homes could be fitted with solar heating equipment as part of a green revolution planned by the government.
BBC 21st June 2008 more >>
One in four British homes could be fitted with solar heating equipment and 3,500 wind turbines could be erected across Britain within 12 years as part of a green energy revolution to be proposed by the government next week. The long-awaited renewable energy strategy, a copy of which has been seen by the Guardian, will say Britain needs to make a £100bn dash to build up its clean power supply if it is to reach its EU-imposed target of producing 15% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Guardian 21st June 2008 more >>
George Monbiot: Studies by people as diverse as the German government and the Centre for Alternative Technology have shown how, by diversifying the sources of green energy, by managing demand and using some cunning methods of storage, renewables could supply 80% or even 100% of our electricity without any loss in the continuity of power supplies.
Guardian 21st June 2008 more >>
The government is considering forcing people to insulate their homes, and fit renewable energy when they build extensions in order to reach its target of producing 15% of all primary energy from renewables by 2020. It is also considering phasing out all high carbon appliances, such as oil-fired central heating boilers, and making councils collect and separate waste food from households and businesses to make biogas.
Guardian 21st June 2008 more >>
Until a few months ago it was thought impossible for Britain to approach generating 15% of its energy from renewables by 2020 as required by the EU. But next week the government will lay out an ambitious blueprint for what it says is an achievable energy revolution. It will affect everyone in Britain and raise electricity costs, the government concedes, but may also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide long-term energy security.
Guardian 21st June 2008 more >>
The lives of Shetland’s inhabitants are inextricably linked to the natural resources on their doorstep, but a groundbreaking new hydrogen power scheme, harnessing the wind, could help provide the solution to the world’s oil crisis.
Telegraph 21st June 2008 more >>
A controversial 60ft-high wind turbine has been given the green light – despite warnings it will be harmful and intrusive and could set a precedent. A national park spokeswoman said members decided environmental gains outweighed any potential harm to the landscape.
Matlock Mercury 19th June 2008 more >>
A backbench Bill that would allow councils to stipulate how much renewable energy developers should use won cross-party support when it was debated by the Lords for the first time today. The Planning and Energy Bill, which cleared the Commons after its introduction by Tory former minister Michael Fallon (Sevenoaks), stands a good chance of becoming law after it was praised by the Government. It would allow councils in England and Wales to require that a proportion of the energy used in developments should come from renewable sources and to set higher energy efficiency standards than current rules demand.
24Dash 13th June 2008 more >>